Nepal, despite being a tourist country there is only one international airport which is Tribhuvan International Airport. But as the demand increases different airports have been constructed in the touristic part of the country. In this article, we will be talking about all those upcoming international airports in Nepal. Now, let’s get started.
Gautam Buddha International Airport
It is located in south-central Nepal and is spread over 787 bighas (533 hectares). It is the second international airport in Nepal which is recently constructed and will be starting the flights as planned by the government on May 16, the birthday of Gautam Buddha. It was built by the Chinese construction company Northwest Civil Aviation Construction Group. Nearly a total of Rs40 billion was spent on its construction.
The modern facility has a 15,169 square-meter terminal building with a capacity to serve nearly a million passengers a year. The airport’s 3,000-metre runway is long enough to handle the largest commercial jets.
Gautam Buddha Intl Airport is the 280-km drive from Kathmandu and is also intended to serve as an alternate and backup international air transport point for Nepal. The government awarded the contract to upgrade an international airport to a Chinese company in October 2014. The project was slated to be completed by the end of 2017. The project encountered multiple hurdles that pushed back the completion deadline several times.
Pokhara International Airport
It is located 3 km (1.9 mi) east of the existing domestic airport. It will be Nepal’s third international airport. It is being developed by the Chinese construction company CAMCE. After its completion, It is handed over to Nepal on March 26, 2022. But still, some work is left to be finished. When it begins operations, it will have a 2,500 m (8,200 ft) runway with a parallel taxiway that can accommodate medium-range jets. The parking bays will be able to handle up to 11 aircraft, including three jet aircraft and eight smaller aircraft. Two terminals, one domestic and one international will be able to handle one million passengers annually.
The airport was constructed with Rs 22 billion concessional loans and grant assistance received from EXIM Bank of China.
Nijgadh International Airport(Proposed)
Nijgadh International Airport is a proposed hub port located in kolhabi directly 68 km (42 mi) to the south of Kathmandu, near the town of Nijgadh. It is targeted to be completed by 2025 with an estimated investment of US$6.7 billion. The project has faced disapproval nationally and internationally, particularly over environmental concerns. If constructed, it would be the largest in South Asia and the fourth largest airport in the world in terms of land area.
Its perimeter covers 80 km (8000 hectares) of land, mostly in Kolhabi municipality and partially in Gadhimai municipality. The site borders Mahendra highway to the north, Bakaiya River to the east, and Pasaha River to the west. It is intended to relieve expected capacity restraints at Tribhuvan International airport in Kathmandu.
The project has drawn several criticisms over years for several issues like the impact on the environment and biodiversity,socio-economical aspects.
Nepal has only one international airport now which is in Kathmandu due to which everyone should come to Kathmandu. It has long been understood that Nepal needed a second international airport. Traffic through Kathmandu’s airport was getting too heavy and had reached a saturation point, resulting in planes being forced to hold for hours in the skies and passengers suffering hours of delays on the ground. The country was also in the process of implementing decentralization to curb social and economic disparities that were growing between Nepal’s capital and everywhere else.
After the completion of airport in Bhairawaha and Pokhara, the economic activities of that place and nearby places will also grow, people will get benefit from it.